What If the 'Matrix' Reboot Is Actually a 'Matrix' Prequel Telling Morpheus' Story?

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April 20th 2017

Michael B. Jordan + Morpheus Michael B. Jordan + Morpheus

Last week's news that Warner Bros. is developing a reboot of "The Matrix" with "potential interest" in Michael B. Jordan starring, was met with mixed, although maybe slightly more negative reactions. But there are many who have embraced the potential this combo presents. As some have pointed out, given that Will Smith would have likely played Neo (instead of Keanu Reeves) if he didn't turn down the role, rebooting the franchise with a black actor seems fitting.

However, what if it's actually not a reboot of the original franchise but a spin-off, or even a "Matrix" prequel movie? Zak Penn ("Ready Player One") who, as of the original report, was said to be in negotiations to write a treatment for the project, took to Twitter seemingly to address concerns expressed by fans of the original film series:












The Hollywood Reporter (THR) was the website that broke the story last week, calling it a "reboot" (the exact title of the article was "'The Matrix' Reboot in the Works at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)"),  so when Penn says the words "rebook" and "remake" were from an article, he's likely referring to the THR story which, it should be noted, didn't have any comment/confirmation from the studio. But it's The Hollywood Reporter, certainly a more than reliable source of industry news, so every other outlet (including ours) picked up the story as it was reported.

But it's clear that a new "Matrix" film is indeed in the works, even if it's not a reboot or a remake. Something's cooking and Zak Penn is apparently the main chef at this point.

His above tweets have only led to further speculation about how exactly he (assuming he has indeed signed on the script) and the studio, Warner Bros., are planning to revisit the "Matrix" universe. A spin-off or prequel would certainly make more sense, and the casting of Michael B. Jordan as a character who is not Neo, is also sensible, especially if we're talking about a prequel starring one of the lead characters in the original franchise - Morpheus, of course. A look at Morpheus before he became the Morpheus we all know and love from the original Matrix movies, is intriguing; far more-so than a reboot of the franchise with Jordan playing Neo. But Penn has all-but confirmed that it's not going to be a reboot or a remake: "Do I want to see more stories set in the universe of the matrix? Yes. Because it's a brilliant idea that generates great stories."

One report from the Birth.Movies.Death website states (from two unnamed independent sources) that the studio is indeed looking at the idea of a Morpheus prequel, with Jordan taking on the role made famous by Laurence Fisburne. However, it should be emphasized that none of this has been confirmed by the studio or Penn.

But as already stated, this would be one of several possible ideas that is most intriguing. And until Penn/Warner Bros. share further details on what they're considering as options, expect there to be continued speculation and rumor on what the end product could be. Hopefully we'll receive some confirmed story details soon.

There's so much background and depth to be explored in Morpheus. In the "Matrix" films, Morpheus is the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar, which is a hovercraft of the human forces of the last human city, Zion. Morpheus was once a human living inside the Matrix until he was freed. He is also known in the Matrix, but as a dangerous terrorist wanted by 'Agents', who appear to be Federal investigators but are sentient computer programs that patrol the Matrix, eliminating any threat to the Matrix. Morpheus and his crew are dedicated to the protection of Zion and the freeing of humans from the Matrix. Earlier in his life, Morpheus romanced Niobe (played by Jada Pinkett Smith in the "Matrix" franchise). Their relationship became estranged after Morpheus visited the Oracle who told Morpheus that he would be the person who would find the One. Following that visit, Morpheus spent much of his life searching the Matrix for the One.

By the way, the originators of the series, The Wachowskis, aren't involved in the new "Matrix" film, whatever it will be - at least, as of right now; although one has to assume that Warner Bros. will want to have the sibling duo's well-wishes (they likely stand to earn a few dollars from any future "Matrix" films or TV series one would imagine).

Worth noting, while promoting the recently released "John Wick: Chapter 2," the star of the original trilogy, Keanu Reeves, said he was open to returning for another "Matrix" movie, but only if the Wachowskis were involved: "They would have to write it and direct it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I dunno, that’d be weird, but why not?” he told Yahoo Movies.

The first "Matrix" movie, released in the United States on March 31, 1999, grossed over $460 million worldwide. It was generally well-received by critics, and won four Academy Awards. It was added to the National Film Registry for preservation. The success of the film led to the release of two sequels, both written and directed by the Wachowskis: "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions." Collectively, the trilogy grossed over $1.6 billion (adjusted for inflation) in global box office.

Michael B. Jordan will next be seen in 2018's "Black Panther," playing Erik Killmonger, the villain. He is also been attached to star in a remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair."

by Shadow and Act on April 20th 2017
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